Kids want to do everything!
Zoo Camp? Yes!
Rock Climbing class? Absolutely!
Robotics club, basketball, French classes? Yes, yes, and oui.
As parents we want to give our children every advantage, so we sign them up, buy the equipment, load up the car and prepare to fulfill our roles as chauffeur, personal assistant, and cheerleader. But there are only so many hours in the day, and overscheduled kids and parents don’t make for very good company. So how do you decide which activities your kids should be doing?
Here is why you should make learning to play the guitar a priority.
Music is Social
Whether you playing in the school band or a garage band, playing music is social. When musicians meet one another, they instantly have something in common, even if they are from opposite ends of the world. As children enter adolescence and start thinking more about their peers than their parents, musicians have a built-in positive peer group. It is no surprise that studies have shown students involved in musical activities have substantially higher graduation rates. Guitar players have it particularly good, not only because it is a perennially cool instrument, but also because the guitar fits into so many different musical styles. But to be part of the club you have to learn to play, so it is a good idea to start your child on the path of music during their primary school years when they are still somewhat open to your direction.
Playing an Instrument Makes You Smarter
A number of studies show that learning a musical instrument has significant intellectual benefits. Here are just a few:
- Students’ IQs rose nearly three points after nine months of weekly musical training in a Canadian study.
- Music instruction helped pre-school students perform better on logo and word recognition tests, showing music’s positive effects on pre-reading and literacy skill.
- A review of a number of studies on speech processing showed a strong link between musical training and basic auditory perception abilities and reading abilities.
- A review of brain scans found that people who have musical training actually think about math more abstractly than those who have not.
So while there is no shortage of enrichment activities for children, the greatest intellectual benefits are found in learning an instrument.
For more on the intellectual benefits of music, check out this TED talk by Anita Collins
Grit and Attention
But the benefits of learning an instrument go beyond learning letters and numbers. A lot has been written in recent years on the necessity for students to have grit. This ability to meet challenges and confront failure has been pointed to as a predictor of long-term success for young people.
Learning to play an instrument takes grit—lots of grit. When learning an instrument, children have to confront new challenges every day, working for minute gains that over time lead to big wins. Studying an instrument is also particularly beneficial for children with attention and processing issues. The consistent refocusing, and immediate sensory feedback of playing an instrument can become a training ground for the personal management skills children will use throughout the rest of their lives.
A Lifelong Activity
Will your child go on to be a famous guitarist? Probably not. But that isn’t the point. By giving them the gift of learning the guitar as a child you are giving them a skill and hobby that they can have for the rest of their lives.
Why the Guitar
So of all the instruments out there, why should your child learn to play the guitar? Because guitars are everywhere. From classical music to punk rock and everything in between, the guitar is an instrument that can do just about anything. Being able to play the guitar well gives children the opportunity to study countless musical styles. The guitar is also a very affordable instrument. A good starter guitar is less than $100, this is significantly cheaper than wind or string instruments, not to mention the piano.
While there’s no shortage of educational enrichment options for your children, learning the guitar is the most affordable and effective way to give them skills that will last a lifetime. For information on how to get started checkout our more on website soundplaystudio.com or better yet order the Awesome Guitar for Kids and get started today.